Can I get some opinions on riding with a bit versus riding bitless?
I have found that my horse has a very low palate and can't use a bit. That has prompted me to do some research and I've started hearing/reading/watching bit horror stories. I know that horses have been ridden in bits since forever, but I never knew how difficult riding with a bit could be for some horses. It makes me wonder if it isn't inhumane. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking riding with a bit. I'm just wondering how other people feel about it.
I watched some videos online and, especially within the English riding arena, it seems to be commonplace to see horses mouthing the bit and looking wild-eyed while being ridden on a very tight rein. I noticed in some of the jump competitions people just hit and hit and hit the horse when it refuses a jump or tosses it's head. I also watched some comparisons with horses being ridden in a bit and then the same horses being ridden in a bitless bridle. I was amazed that I, an amatuer, could actually see a noticable difference in how the horses handled. I know how my horse acts when she has a bit in her mouth and I know how she acts when I ride in just a halter. I've ordered a bitless bridle and can't wait to see how that goes. When I first nixed the bit and rode in the halter (I know, not too smart) I could not believe how much more relaxed she was and how much more comfortable I felt. There was just so much less tension between us. I do understand that I'm not a pro, in fact I'm still learning the basics, but my trainer performed the same test with the same bit and halter and got the same result.
Anyway, if you have an opinion or experiend please share with me.